Week 12

The difference between the American Pulse and the Japanese Pulse is in its levels of subtly, its lighting, visual effects, and dialogue. The American version kept me more entertained or maybe is was Kristin Bell. The American Pulse had a major shock value that the Japanese version lacked. The ghosts were scarier and more unrealistic. Although there were many differences, There were many similarities such as the over all concept. The later film felt very cliche in its dialogue and felt like it lacked depth but that is what an American audience is looking for entertainment over substance. The American Version of the film is also faster pace and implements jump cuts to emphasize shock. 

The lighting was very different between the two films. The later had a greener, richer, and darker atmosphere that the lighting established making a library, a home and areas meant to be lit as dark areas. The prior film had an erie feel in certain moments but mainly approached those moments not with lighting but through acting and story development. 

The American version of the film was not subtle in its delivery, but does it have to be? We tend to consider films good or bad depending on whether they make you think or not. That tends to be an aspect on how you rate a film. But I don’t see why this is a bad film despite its repetitive story line and dumbed down understanding. I found it enjoyable and easy to watch. The prior film was an interesting viewing experience but I found it as easy to follow as the later American film and I was able to get it’s existentialist backbone. But the prior film made me think more about universal loneliness.



7 thoughts on “Week 12

  1. Between the two movies, Kairo definitely makes use of an eerier genre of horror. This may be an illustration of the difference in cultures. Kairo also, throughout the film, has scenes that are much brighter than the other film, which gives the film a less gloomy feel. What causes most of the horror in Kairo is that you cannot see what you actually are afraid of and the mystery adds to your fear.
    Pulse was your typical subpar American horror film, with an A list female actor that somehow ends up in distress. The lighting is so low key that to me it felt like the sun was never out in whatever city this film takes place in. Makeup and props are definitely part of what makes up this genre as well. Kristen Bell is seen with a much paler and unattractive makeup job as oppose to her bubbly, tan and gorgeous “Sarah Marshall'” shelf. Also all of the characters look disheveled and unkept. These peoples lives from day one is a train wreck. I think horror is the type of genre where it needs to be know at the five minute mark, exactly what kind of film you are watching and I think that is why these films are always scary off the bat. I think it creates an emotional burden that cannot be shaken off until the character either lives or dies. “Pulse” compares interestingly to “A Cabin In The Woods” “A Cabin In The Woods” starts off jolly, with the excitement setting in of movie into a new house, and then quickly spirals downhill which seems like the opposite of this film. “Pulse” is your typical scream and run that is not filling to any other levels of the mind besides the most basic and is just clueless characters running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
    Pulse was still an interesting twist of typical American Drama, meant to scare a specific group of kids, which all horror movies are. I think all horror movies try to appeal to a persons pathological fear such as the woods, technology, or ghosts and this one does the same, blaming a computer hacker for letting the monster out.

  2. The American Pulse kept me a lot more engaged than the Japanese Pulse. I would attribute it to the same reasons you mention regarding the shock found all through out the American version. The reason these jump scares are used in American horror movies is because that is what spectators in the Western culture expect to see when they venture to see these kind of movies. The unrealistic attributes of the ghosts in American version are what allow me to sleep at night after finishing watching such a film. I also agree that it is a lot more cliché, especially when you consider the fact that the American Pulse incorporates a love story into the plot.
    I actually noticed the difference in lighting between the two films as well. One of the first things that stood out to me in the Japanese version were the very dull, natural colors. This emphasized the red tape even more because it was able to stand out on its own. On the other hand, the American version possessed a greater color pallet that did not give the red tape as much emphasis without dialogue. Because the characters made a huge deal of the red tape in the American film, it is brought more into the limelight but the Japanese film suggests its importance, leaving the spectator to ponder about it.

  3. The American Pulse, like you said, had a major shock factor, and I think we associate that with entertainment. It is not necessarily that Kairo wasn’t as entertaining, but we weren’t jumping out of our seats with fear, so we tend to find it less interesting. I have to disagree with you statement that American audiences look for entertainment over substance overall, but if we are talking about just the horror genre, then I would tend to agree. For horror films, we as a culture have come to expect those cuts that make us jump, the music that guides our viewing, and undeniable gore. Since Kairo didn’t have those things, we tend to feel that it was not scary and since it didn’t create fear in us as horror is supposed to do, we find it less entertaining than Pulse, though Kairo is clearly the better film. For me at least, when I sit down to watch a horror film, I’m not expecting to have to think philosophically; I just want to watch something that will elicit a response, whether that’s fear, revulsion, whatever. Kairo asks too much of an American audience, I think, at least for a horror movie, though that’s not to say that we can’t understand what’s happening, just that we’re not looking for existentialism in a horror movie. That’s probably why we adapted it for our own purposes rather than as a shot for shot remake with American actors, and though the movie was cheesy, it served its purpose.

  4. Pulse is a typical American horror movie that has the shock value like you said. It has ghosts that are meant to shock you and make you jump, whereas in Kairo the ghosts were more eerie and creepy and didn’t try to jump out at you like they did in Pulse. I also thought the American version was easier to follow than Kairo because we knew what to expect of a typical American horror film. I wasn’t expecting the subtleness and subdued scare factor of Kairo. It was more eerie with a feeling of helplessness and despair that lingered and made us think that more bad things were going to happen. When we think of horror films, we always think of ghosts jumping out at us, murderers creeping in the corner, or monsters attacking people. It’s hard to get used to a different type of horror like in Kairo because we are so familiar with American horror.

  5. Kristen Bell definitely had a large impact on whether I liked the film or not. It also made it a lot easier to understand the mood of Pulse because it was in english. Subtitles always make the mood a lot more difficult to pick up on. I also agree that Pulse is not a terrible film, it kept me entertained and 0n the edge of my seat for two hours, despite being predictable.

  6. I think that whether or not a film makes us think is definitely a big aspect of whether or not it’s considered “good.” For me, the remake just felt like it was spoon-feeding us all the answers and the whole plot without leaving any details out to be uncovered at the end. That also could have something to do with just having watched the Japanese version and already knowing what was going to happen, but really it was just like they thought we were stupid and needed to tell us all the details up front. This made me pretty bored with the movie because I didn’t have to think about anything so all I wanted to do was laugh mainly because of the acting. Whether or not I had just seen the Japanese version, I still feel like I would’ve been able to predict what was going to happen because it was pretty cheesy and pretty much what I would expect after a certain point.

  7. Lol Kristin Bell. Pulse was definitely an easier movie to watch. That is, if you just want to sit and stare at the TV screen and enjoy a good scare or two. With Kairo it made you think a bit more about the characters ,the ghost, their relationship, and the movie as a whole. Kairo has a deeper meaning and complicated story than Pulse in so many ways. One of the main differences, which you mentioned, is the delivery of both movies. Although Kairo is slow, its a longer felt feeling versus Pulse is fast and fades away pretty quickly. I like how you compared lighting and its purpose in both movies. Pulse definitely had noticeable dark, suspenseful lighting that allows it to scare the viewer much easier. In Kairo, you have a greater sense of time and the brighter lighting allows the viewer to better follow the characters.

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